Advice for New Puppy Owners

Getting a new puppy, whether it’s your first, second (or tenth!) is an exciting experience. It can also be very daunting knowing that you are responsible for the care and well being of an animal that is going to be with you for many years to come. By starting on the right foot you and your puppy will be set up for a very happy and enjoyable life together.

We recommend The Puppy Contract as a guide on how to source a puppy responsibly, ensuring that they are the right fit for your family and lifestyle, free from inherited behavioural or health disorders and not the product of the puppy farm trade.

Paperwork to complete
Your puppy should have been microchipped by his breeder or the rescue charity and transfer paperwork provided to allow you to update the details on the microchip database to your own. Your breeder or rescue may have arranged a short period of insurance cover - time to check the terms of this cover and that the details are correct. Where this is not provided, it is a good idea to arrange for an insurance policy to start as soon as you pick the puppy up. There may also be a pedigree registration to transfer. Finally, give us a call to register your new puppy and book them in for their first health check. Have any vaccination paperwork to hand so we can advise you when the next vaccine is due.

Toilet training
Take him out to the garden frequently - after every nap, play session, drink or meal - and stay with him for 5-10 minutes to get him to go to the toilet. Praise lavishly if he goes! If you have no joy, bring him back in and keep trying at regular intervals. This will set him up for success rather than punishing failure. Clean up any accidents with a purpose designed cleaner which will help eliminate the smell of urine and discourage further accidents in the same spot.

Give your puppy confidence
Give them a safe area in the house - this can be a room, pen or crate of sufficient size - and make this a rewarding place to settle with treats and toys. Get him used to being apart from you when you’re not in the room, and gradually build it up so when you go out he doesn’t get upset. Carry him out and about so he can experience new sights and smells.

Never leave a dog alone with very young children
Animals can be unpredictable and even a puppy being playful could cause fear or injury to a young child. Don’t take the risk, always be present when children are around.

Be consistent with rules
Do not allow your puppy to do anything now that you do not want him to do as an adult – i.e. jumping up, getting on furniture. Keep him on the lead or in a secure area until his recalls are reliable. Encourage your dog to play, chew toys and settle themselves in their safe area - these can all be used as distractions or alternatives to unwanted behaviours. Consider signing up to a puppy socialisation and training class. Even an experienced owner and a well behaved puppy can benefit from proofing their training with the distraction of other people and dogs around.

Give your puppy space
Allow your puppy to have space to himself without crowding him, and give him his own bed area where he can go when he needs time out. This area should not be used as punishment when he does wrong. Give him time to process new experiences before introducing the next challenge - socialisation should never be scary or overwhelming.

Continue with the breeder's feeding regime for the first few days to help avoid tummy upsets. Meals should be small and frequent for young puppies. Any changes should be introduced by gradually mixing old and new foods with increasing proportions of the new food, and decreasing the old food over the course of 5 – 7 days. Keep some rations back for training treats throughout the day.

Ask for help
Call us - we are always happy to give help and advice, particularly if you bring us a new puppy to squeeze!



Further Advice